How To Clean Wood Furniture Before Staining: Steps & Items Needed

Steps & Items Needed To Clean Outdoor Wood Furniture

The wood furniture needs to be cleaned fully before staining them. There are three main parts in order to clean the wood furniture before staining them. The user needs to follow these given parts carefully to achieve the best results.

Part 1: Fixing Openings on the Woods Surface

In order to perform this method following items are needed first:
  • Sandpaper (100- or 120-grit)
  • Hammer
  • Nail set
  • Putty knife
  • Grain filler

Then follow the given steps carefully:
  1. Inspect: First inspect the wood furniture for any type of defects like damages, scratches, splits, holes, crevices, and other openings because having these defects will make your cleaning process difficult. Check every surface of your wood furniture carefully.
  2. Nails: If any hole or damage is found then drive all nails below the wood furniture surface. Check the wood surface for nails or other things that are sticking out. If you leave these in place, then you will not get a smooth finish for your staining process.
  3. Grain Filler: Now, apply grain filler to the openings. Drop some grain filler onto a putty knife and press the filler into the damages and holes. Then use the edge of your putty knife to scrape away any excess grain filler.
  4. Dry: Dry the grain filler completely before sanding it with 200-grit sandpaper. Wait for nearly 7-8 hours or for a whole night for the grain filler to dry. Then, take a piece of sandpaper (200-grit) and sand the excess grain filler until you get the smooth and even wood furniture surface.

Part 2: Sanding For Smooth Finish

Certain items are needed to perform this method and they are listed below:
  • Sandpaper (100-, 150-, and 200-grit)
  • Rags
  • Paper Towels
  • Mineral Spirits

After that follow the given steps carefully:
  1. Start Sanding: The first thing you need to remember is to sand with the grain of the wood which means you have to follow the lines on the wood furniture and sand in that direction. Make sure to sand in a straight line, backline and forth line, until you reach the end of the wood furniture surface. Repeat this process for every part of the wood furniture.
  2. Wipe: Wipe the wood furniture during the sanding process. You can also use a vacuum cleaner or a tack cloth to wipe the surface of the wood furniture. A paper towel lightly moistened with mineral spirits will also work for this type of wipes.
  3. Sand Again: Now again sand the wood furniture for two times with sandpaper (150-200 grit) to remove any scratches or marks that were left on the wood surface from the previous sanding process, make sure to remove these marks as you sand and wipe down the wood between every sanding process.
  4. Wet And Sand: Simply wet the wood with a clean cloth and sand it for one last time sandpaper (200-grit). This process will raise the little fibers on the surface of your furniture. By using a damp towel, wipe the surface of the wood. When the wood furniture dries fully, sand again for final time sandpaper (200-grit) to catch all the remaining fibers from the surface of the wood.
  5. Mineral Spirits: This is your final step, wipe down the wood furniture surface one last time with the help of towel moistened with mineral spirits to catch any straggling debris. If there is any remaining sawdust then this will ruin your stain.

Part 3: Conditioning The Wood

Certain items are needed first which are mentioned below:
  • Wood Conditioner
  • Paint Brush
  • Wood Stain
  • Rags

Note: This is an extra method, in case you also want to stain your wood then follow these steps carefully.
  1. Apply: First take wood conditioner before applying it to the wood furniture to open the pores. Before starting your staining process be sure of the pores if the wood is open because this will allow for an even stain. This is the main work of the wood conditioner. Use a paintbrush and apply an even layer of the wood conditioner to every part of the wood furniture surface.
  2. Wet The Wood (optional): In case if you don't want to use the wood conditioner then wet the wood by using water to prepare the wood furniture for staining to get the same effect. This process is known as popping the grain. If you are using this method then be sure you only use a wet rag to apply the water on the wood and don't apply the stain until the wood furniture is dry completely. This process may take up to 5-6 hours.
  3. Wait: If you used a wood conditioner then wait for about 15 minutes. This wood conditioner needs at least 15 minutes to sit. Don't start your staining work just after applying wood conditioner, but also don't wait longer than 1-2 hours because the wood pores will no longer be open and the wood won't absorb the stain.
  4. Apply: Finally apply the stain on the wood furniture by using a paintbrush or a rag, apply an even layer of stain on the wood furniture. After applying the stain, use a clean rag to wipe off any stain which is pooling on the wood surface.
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